The Oven Mistake You Need To Avoid When Doubling A Recipe

two pizza dishes in oven
two pizza dishes in oven - Anna Avdeeva/Getty Images

When cooking for a larger gathering than you're used to, you may need to expand a tried-and-true recipe to accommodate all your friends and loved ones. If your strategy involves placing two dishes in the oven to cook concurrently, there's an annoying error to be aware of -- and avoid. For the best results, leave some room between the two dishes to ensure the proper flow of hot air over them. Otherwise, there's a significant chance of uneven cooking, which can derail your doubled recipe and delay your dinner party plans (or require an emergency takeout order).

Consider that an increased cooking time is likely when there are two dishes in the oven. Also, most ovens have issues with uneven heating thanks to hot spots, which can complicate the process even further. While you can use a nifty parchment paper hack to find oven hot spots, changing the position of each dish while cooking is beneficial if you're not sure about the presence of hot spots in the appliance. You will also want to turn dishes as the food cooks to expose all sides to the heat of the oven.

Read more: 8 Baking Sheet Mistakes You Want To Avoid

Aim For A Certain Amount Of Space Between Pieces Of Cookware

two omelet dishes in oven
two omelet dishes in oven - Sebalos/Getty Images

While there are many delicious meals you can make without a recipe, precision can save you a lot of hassle when cooking. Accordingly, you should be precise about how much room you leave between your cookware. When deciding how much space to leave, aim for two to three inches between dishes. For a visual reference, three inches is about the same distance as three quarters placed side by side by side.

Two dishes will hopefully fit easily in your oven, especially if you're utilizing multiple racks when cooking your doubled recipe. You can further avoid space issues by choosing cookware that matches the size of the food you're making. Using an appropriately sized dish to cook your recipes ensures that all ingredients are heated evenly throughout. It also leaves more room in the appliance to orient dishes in such a way that both receive a sufficient amount of heat.

Stagger Cookware For Optimal Heating Of Doubled Recipes

person putting dish in oven
person putting dish in oven - Riska/Getty Images

It's commonplace to use the top and bottom racks in your oven when placing two pieces of cookware in the appliance. In this case, you must consider where each dish is placed on the racks. If one piece of cookware is directly above or below the other, the flow of hot air will be impeded, and some portions of food may be underdone as a result.

To promote even cooking, stagger each dish to ensure uniform exposure to the hot air generated by the oven. For instance, you can place a dish to the left on the top cooking rack, while moving the cookware on the bottom rack to the right. However, be careful about placing either item too close to the walls of the oven, as doing so can also restrict airflow.

To avoid another common recipe-doubling mistake that can tarnish your end result, be cautious about how much food you add to each dish. Much like your oven, you want to leave a little space between the ingredients within each dish.

Read the original article on Daily Meal